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Hi there,

 

I'm not sure if my problem is relevant to this site but I don't know who else to contact, so here's hoping someone can help.

This week I got questioned by the police about shoplifting in Superdrug last week. I was very confused as I didn't really get what the police officer was saying at first. I thought he was asking me if I had seen someone shoplifting. It turns out he was asking me if Ihad shoplifted. I was astounded and asked him why he thought I had done it. He then produced still images of me in Superdrug and asked me if I recognised the person in the photo. It was a little grainy and at first I was in doubt but then certain things became familiar. Apparently, because I had been at the make-up section for 40 minutes I was the most likely person to steal over £300 worth of make-up items. It wasn't just 1 of this and 1 of that, it was up to 8 of a single item! There was approximately 50 items taken. I told the officer that I had been looking for a certain lipstick and had been testing shades close to the one I wanted. He asked me if I had purchased anything and I said yes...I even made him come and look at the make-up I had purchased (purchased on my credit card and used the Superdrug loyalty card with all my details on). He then asked me if I would come to the station the following day for an interview and to watch the CCTV footage of me in Superdrug, that was within the 24 hours that the items were meant to be taken, which I agreed to do.

 

That night I hardly slept. I was in shock and as confused as hell. How can they accuse me of shoplifting if they have me on CCTV? The thoughts of that day went through my head time and again in a confused jumble keeping me from any kind of useful rest.

The following day I turned up at the station early because I couldn't sit around and wait any more. The PC met me at the door and told me he had the CCTV footage but unfortunately in was in VHS format. Not thinking about the whole of what he said, just the fact that he had the footage, I heaved a sigh of relief and said 'Thank god! I can go then!' He looked at me for a second then said 'I think you had better come and see for yourself'.

 

I was lead to an interview room and the recorder was set up. While he was loading the DVDs, the PC told me that the interview room was used in major crimes (no pressure there!).

 

Once the machine was recording the officer read me my rights and informed me I wasn't under arrest and could leave at any time and asked me if I wanted a solicitor, which I declined as I figured I hadn't done anything wrong so wasn't necessary. He then turned on the VCR combi TV and I flashed onto screen just walking into Superdrug with my handbag over my shoulder and a basket in my hand. He stopped the footage and asked me if I recognised the person on the footage. I confirmed it was me and he then pressed play. The footage isn't the best but it is clear enough to make out it was me. It shows me in the make-up aisle appearing to take things off the shelf fiddling with them (the images don't show features or hand details as it is of less than excellent quality) and then appearing to put them back. The CCTV camera is over the entrance pointing straight up the make-up aisle which is the first aisle in the store. Directly underneath the camera, at the very beginning of the row of make-up stands, is a member of staff stocking a new make-up display. She is within 1-4m of me. My handbag is not meant to be a shoulder bag but for convenience sake I usually use it that way. That means that when I have the bag over my shoulder the opening is under my armpit and hard to access without slipping one handle off my shoulder.

 

While watching the footage I asked details about the crime. According to Superdrug it happened sometime between opening time on the Monday morning and sometime Tuesday morning. I had arrived at the store at 11.06am on the Monday. What an awful lot of footage to sit through...not just my boring 40 minutes but approximately 12 hours of footage.

 

As I was moving up and down the aisle, apparently, reaching for items and putting them back the PC was asking me what each item was. In some cases I could answer that it was a lipstick tester, but considering I also bought mascara I wasn't always that sure. I told him what I remember of my time there, but I was a bit vague in places. What I remember specifically from that day is that I didn't have anything to do so had time to just browse and take as much time as I wanted. I also remember the alarm going off in the store and a lady had turned round and looked at the member of staff who was under the camera stacking the display. The member of staff told the lady to 'just ignore it, it does it all the time'.

 

The PC couldn't understand how anyone could spend the best part of 40 minutes looking for a lipstick (had the PC been a female the question wouldn't have arisen) and all I could say was it was a good job that I wasn't in a book shop...where 40 minutes could turn into hours!

 

After watching 20 out of the 40 minutes of the footage the officer asked me if I wanted to watch the rest of the footage as he had seen it twice and the next 20 minutes were much the same. Saying to him that I had been there and experienced it first hand I didn't need to watch the rest. He then switched off the footage, asked me if I had anything to add and informed me that he was going to talk to his superiors and Superdrug to see if they were going to proceed with a prosecution. I was stunned, there was nothing on that footage that showed me putting things in my handbag, in fact, there is no way I could fit approx 50 items in my handbag. If I did have the items in my bag then how the heck did manage to get my rather large (but mostly empty) purse out at the checkout when I went to pay for the items in the basket. I put these questions to the PC but he really didn't seem bothered. He had told me that he was meant to be neutral but that isn't the impression I got. He seemed impatient for me to not waste his precious time and to stop asking pointless (in his mind) questions. I felt judged and got a really bad feeling when he said that he was in doubt it would go further due to the bad quality of the footage.

 

At the door of the station I asked if anyone else was being questioned and he said no, just me. I asked if he had seen the whole of the footage from the Monday opening until staff realised items were missing on the Tuesday morning. He said no and he wasn't about to. The PC said that Superdrug security had watched the footage and had just sent the footage of me as I had been in there the longest. I asked for the whole footage and he said that it was down to Superdrug and they wouldn't release the footage. I asked if they would allow an independent person to view the footage and he said no and to not even bother with asking. By this time I was in tears. I asked him to tell Superdrug to look at the whole footage again...not just my bit but the WHOLE of it, because somewhere on that footage is the person/people that did it. He didn't even bother to answer. As he went back in the station he told me he would inform me in a couple of days as to whether they would be proceeding with a case or not.

 

I now wish I had seen the rest of the footage. I wish that I had asked if there was footage of me at the checkout. Unfortunately, my rather slow and numb thought processes didn't kick in fully until I had left.

 

I had been asked if I had a receipt of my purchases in Superdrug and normally I refuse receipts as they clutter up my handbag. The following day I was thinking about it and thought to have a look in the recycling...just in case. Success! There it was. I obviously had a record of the transaction on my credit card statement but I needed to have an itemised account of what I had bought. I called the PC and left a message informing him of my find. A couple of hours later he returned my call and acknowledged the receipt find. He then went on to inform me that because there wasn't enough evidence the police were not going to prosecute. I think I was meant to feel relief at this but immediately the though occurred that even though they were dropping it, it didn't mean they thought I was innocent. I relayed this to the officer and he said that Superdrug weren't happy.

 

By this stage I had popped like a pressure cooker. I was angry, humiliated and felt victimised. Why were they so quick to try and damn me but point blank refuse to give me a chance to show them that I didn't do it?

 

I have lived in my town the best part of 45 years. I know an awful lot of people (quite a few through the charity shop that I volunteered in for 2 years). I have friends, neighbours and acquaintances in most of the shops. This is probably one of the most demeaning things to ever happen to me and I want the chance to vindicate myself.

 

So after all of that, does anyone know who I should contact to mediate between Superdrug and myself with a view for someone to take my bag and fill it up with the items taken, while in full view of the camera and staff member, then to go to the checkout with the items I purchased in a basket and retrieve my purse from under all the stolen goods?

 

It is a simple solution and the only way I can think to prove my innocence. I just don't know who or how to go about it.

I obviously can't go into Superdrug now because if they decided to refuse to talk to me and ban me from their stores, the humiliation would probably give me a heart attack. I can't seem to find a phone number to their HQ in Croyden, just a postal address. I am a bit hesitant to send a letter as it may pass through several hands before being bought to the attention of the right person (I don't even know who that would be). I just need clear guidance as my mind is a jumble and am having difficulty getting back on track (though you can probably tell that from my rambling diatribe).

 

I really hope someone can advise me.

 

Thank you

S

Edited by sdv2712

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Hi sdv

 

Welcome to CAG

 

Could you add spaces to create paragraphs please, so it's easier to read.

 

The guys will be happy to advise as soon as they are available.

 

Please let us know how your problem has been resolved, it could help fellow Caggers.

 

Thread has been moved to the correct forum.

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Sorry, my mind works faster than my fingers and I get carried away.

 

Edited now :)

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Hi sdv, what a nightmare situation! I'm sure someone here will be along soon to help you.

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Aww thank you Lily. Nightmare is one way of putting it. I'm devastated.

 

Thank you so much.

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I can imagine how devastated you are sdv. The folk on here will help you sort things out, they've helped me a lot.

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Oh, honey, I certainly hope so. Thank you so much for the reassurance, it is a tonic.

 

It is heartening to see that you have had help and gives me hope for my own situation.

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You'll feel better as the days go by. At first it seems like the end of the world, but it really isn't. You wont see that just yet, but you will :-)

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What an unpleasant experience to have gone through. From a dispassionate point of view, one can see how the situation arose - but it's the way it was handled that has caused you distress.

 

There's a bit missing from your story, and it would be helpful if you could fill in the blanks. Were you stopped in Superdrug, or how did the police make contact?

 

The police will say that they have a duty to investigate, which they did, and decided to take no action. This means that you are innocent in the eyes of the law. Superdrug have to accept that, whether they like it or not. The fact is that if their security staff and equipment were up to scratch, they'd have caught the thief, and not wrongly accused an innocent person.

 

As to what you can do about it, I think that the best course of action is to write a formal letter of complaint to Superdrug's head office. What you should put in it will depend to an extent on what happened at first.

 

I have to say, though, that I do not think you will get a satisfactory response from Superdrug - but sending the letter will make you feel better, and enable you to put the matter behind you.

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Hi sdv

 

Write a Formal Letter of Complaint mark it as such. Explain whats happened, how your a regular shopper, how they have upset you through the allegations they've made, tell them what you want them to do and that your considering further action.

 

Send it to :-

 

Joey Wat, Managing Director

joey.wat@uk.aswatson.com

 

Some tips:-

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1242161/How--write-letter-complaint.html

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http://www.ceoemail.com/ Have a scroll down - superdrug Chief Executive Officer email etc listed

 

Twitter is also a good place to complain & usually get speedy responses

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ScarletPimpernel

Site Team

 

 

 

 

Cagger since

Mar 2007

Posts

5,453

Re: Wrongly accused by Superdrug...

What an unpleasant experience to have gone through. From a dispassionate point of view, one can see how the situation arose - but it's the way it was handled that has caused you distress.

 

There's a bit missing from your story, and it would be helpful if you could fill in the blanks. Were you stopped in Superdrug, or how did the police make contact?

 

The police will say that they have a duty to investigate, which they did, and decided to take no action. This means that you are innocent in the eyes of the law. Superdrug have to accept that, whether they like it or not. The fact is that if their security staff and equipment were up to scratch, they'd have caught the thief, and not wrongly accused an innocent person.

 

As to what you can do about it, I think that the best course of action is to write a formal letter of complaint to Superdrug's head office. What you should put in it will depend to an extent on what happened at first.

 

I have to say, though, that I do not think you will get a satisfactory response from Superdrug - but sending the letter will make you feel better, and enable you to put the matter behind you.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

A policeman came round on Tuesday evening of this week. He turned up out of the blue, in fact, when my son answered the door and said it was a policeman I accused him of winding me up thinking it was actually one of his friends.

 

The police as a whole may say that I am innocent but that particular PC inferred that the only reason I was 'being let off' was due to lack of conclusive evidence, he also added that Superdrug were not happy happy which added to the burden.

 

I may well be banging my head against a brick wall but I have to try. I just want someone to acknowledge that I am not in the wrong, I don't care if it is only verbally rather than in print.

 

Thank you for your advice, I truly appreciate any help.

Edited by sdv2712
incorrect wording

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Hi sdv

 

Write a Formal Letter of Complaint mark it as such. Explain whats happened, how your a regular shopper, how they have upset you through the allegations they've made, tell them what you want them to do and that your considering further action.

 

 

 

 

Wow! Thank you. I was looking for security department, never thought to go directly to the MD.

 

As soon as I finish work I will get on that.

 

You are a star, thank you!

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Have a scroll down - superdrug Chief Executive Officer email etc listed

 

Twitter is also a good place to complain & usually get speedy responses

 

The CEO, this only gets better.

 

I just can't thank you all enough. Even if it all comes to nothing and I am still prohibited from shopping in my local Superdrug, I will know that I have tried my best.

 

You are all amazing, I would never have thought of any of this. Mind you, I have been feeling like a dog chasing its' tail, so it is excellent to get some clarity.

 

Thank you all again.

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Oh I know how you feel. Part of my ongoing complaint with Unison is the lovely visit I had from a copper on a Friday afternoon. By this point Unison knew just how badly they had let me down, but of course Unions will never admit this. I had been talking to one of the office staff, that morning, and as we had spoken several times, when she asked me about my illness, PTSD, I told her that three years ago I felt like murdering the woman who had done this to me. This copper who turned up accused me of making threats to murder the Unison staff! I was astounded, gobsmacked - and after he left, warning me never to ring the office again or he would come back and arrest me, I was livid.

 

My complaint with Unison is now at the London office, and I complained to the police - after all, I had been accused or making threats to kill, and I hadn't done it. Unison say they record all their calls, I was furious the tape wasn't listened to first. I made such a stink about it that the police decided to listen to the tape, but it suddenly disappeared at the Unison end. Police say they willl take no further action. Now that is not good enough for me - I want it in writing that if I apply for a job with an enhanced CRB this will not be on it. And until I get that they will keep getting letter after letter reminding them.

 

What a horrible experience for youj. You go and kick who ever you need to where it hurts. X

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It speaks volumes that the shop security staff didn't try to stop you at the time; the police must have traced you through your purchase.Make a formal complaint to Superdrug's CEO - keep it concise, and include what you want by way of resolution - but don't be surprised if you get a fairly anodyne response.

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Oh I know how you feel. Part of my ongoing complaint with Unison is the lovely visit I had from a copper on a Friday afternoon. By this point Unison knew just how badly they had let me down, but of course Unions will never admit this. I had been talking to one of the office staff, that morning, and as we had spoken several times, when she asked me about my illness, PTSD, I told her that three years ago I felt like murdering the woman who had done this to me. This copper who turned up accused me of making threats to murder the Unison staff! I was astounded, gobsmacked - and after he left, warning me never to ring the office again or he would come back and arrest me, I was livid.

 

My complaint with Unison is now at the London office, and I complained to the police - after all, I had been accused or making threats to kill, and I hadn't done it. Unison say they record all their calls, I was furious the tape wasn't listened to first. I made such a stink about it that the police decided to listen to the tape, but it suddenly disappeared at the Unison end. Police say they willl take no further action. Now that is not good enough for me - I want it in writing that if I apply for a job with an enhanced CRB this will not be on it. And until I get that they will keep getting letter after letter reminding them.

 

What a horrible experience for youj. You go and kick who ever you need to where it hurts. X

 

How awful. Persistence pays off, if only for the fact they just want to get rid of you.

 

I did giggle at the 'kick where it hurts' bit though.

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It speaks volumes that the shop security staff didn't try to stop you at the time; the police must have traced you through your purchase.Make a formal complaint to Superdrug's CEO - keep it concise, and include what you want by way of resolution - but don't be surprised if you get a fairly anodyne response.

 

I wish they had stopped me at the time and then no ones time would have been so wasted and I wouldn't be so stressed about things.

 

The police had no need to trace me, Superdrug had all my personal detail on my loyalty/bonus card.

 

No harm in trying though, eh? I will try putting my point across and give them the opportunity to see if it was at all possible for me to do this. If it is still inconclusive at the end then by all means ban me from the store. More than anything I want the person/s who did actually do the crime caught, there should be no better way of clearing my name and for Superdrug to get compensation for what was taken. I have asked friends to keep an ear out for someone selling make-up, just in case.

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I would put in a formal complaint against the Officer to. He did indeed have a duty to investigate a reported crime - so why didn't he?!!

 

He pulled in one person on, well, its not even flimsy evidence, its not evidence at all - a woman spending 40 mins in the makeup department? like that never happens! is not seen at any stage pocketing items? And then the officer refuses to check the rest of the footage?

 

I have to say, the amount of items stolen, that sounds like either an organised gang were involved, so several people were involved, or its an inside job by a member of staff, maybe it was even a Security Officer, hence the flimsiest of evidence being sent to the Police of someone who is innocent....


[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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Email is now sent to Mr J Wat. Fingers crossed he climbs down from his lofty height and acknowledges it and gives me the chance to redress the situation.

 

I will update as and when. I will even post his email on here (should he bother to respond).

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The police as a whole may say that I am innocent but that particular PC inferred that the only reason I was 'being let off' was due to lack of conclusive evidence, he also added that Superdrug were not happy happy which added to the burden.

 

 

So much for the PC and his alleged independence.

 

Superdrug gave him a video that showed nothing, you co-operated, it still showed nothing, he still wants to believe superdrug despite there not being room in your bag to fit the items that they allege that you stole!

 

Even superdrug must have realised before they gave the tape to the police - presumably they looked at it?

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I would put in a formal complaint against the Officer to. He did indeed have a duty to investigate a reported crime - so why didn't he?!!

 

He pulled in one person on, well, its not even flimsy evidence, its not evidence at all - a woman spending 40 mins in the makeup department? like that never happens! is not seen at any stage pocketing items? And then the officer refuses to check the rest of the footage?

 

I have to say, the amount of items stolen, that sounds like either an organised gang were involved, so several people were involved, or its an inside job by a member of staff, maybe it was even a Security Officer, hence the flimsiest of evidence being sent to the Police of someone who is innocent....

 

Hi Caledfwlch,

 

In all fairness the officer isn't at fault about me being the only person being pulled in as Superdrug only sent my images, my details and CCTV footage containing my 40 minutes to him so their sucurity is at fault. Yes, I know it is extremely flimsy, hence the fact it wasn't taken any further. The officer also said that he was meant to remain neutral. I got the distinct impression that he didn't. How do you convince someone who has seen all kinds of bad things not to be cynical and judgmental? One example was, I asked him that what kind of person steals all of that and still uses their credit card and loyalty card (with all personal detail in the stores' database)? His reply was that he had come across all kinds of stupid people. Taken aback I asked him if I came across as that stupid and he said he had seen it before.Talk about insulting.

 

That conversation happened on the phone about two minutes before he told me that the investigation wasn't going any further. When faced with that mentality you may as well bang your head against a brick wall.

 

The store doesn't have security per se as it isn't a very large place. There is only one entrance/exit. Occasionally a member of staff will be on duty near the exit to grab anyone should the need arise and also there are the alarms (though they are useless when items don't have the security tag on them) and, of course, the outdated CCTV.

 

At the end of the email I sent to Mr Wat I recommended that they upgraded their CCTV equipment from VHS to Digital. If it was all up to date then none of this would be pertinent as they would have seen clearly what I was doing, or not doing as the case may be.

 

I agree with your opinion that it is more than one person or a member of staff (though if it was the staff then they would have to account for a time lapse in the CCTV footage if they knew how to turn it off. They would be more likely to steal from the storage room where there is no coverage). The way the camera is positioned would show any furtive movement from one person but if there were two then person number one could stand with their back to the camera, at right angles to the display so that person number two could reach in front of of person one to the display and take what they want.

 

How I would willingly risk eye strain to watch the whole footage from first opening time on the Monday to when they realised the items were missing on the Tuesday. morning.

 

Thank you for your support, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

 

S

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So much for the PC and his alleged independence.

 

Superdrug gave him a video that showed nothing, you co-operated, it still showed nothing, he still wants to believe superdrug despite there not being room in your bag to fit the items that they allege that you stole!

 

Even superdrug must have realised before they gave the tape to the police - presumably they looked at it?

 

Hi Grumpy (lol),

 

I am assuming that Superdrug didn't check the whole footage in Monday am/Tuesday am timeline. I was in there at 11am on the Monday, by that stage they would have watched approximately 2 hours worth of footage. I got bored of watching after only 20 minutes of a potential 40 minutes video footage so up to about 11 hours would be a torture (even though I would be more than willing to watch it right now!). It is all a bit convenient for my taste.

 

In the letter to the MD I never once threatened or gave a hint that I would take it further, allowing him a chance to redeem themselves in my eyes. Should he chose to ignore or whitewash things then I will go to anyone who will listen. It would be in his best interest to humour me, especially as all I want is a sorry and for it to be MY choice as to whether I wish to shop there or not. They can keep any guilt bribes, like vouchers, as I have purchased all I am ever going to purchase from Superdrug.

 

I apologise for sounding high handed, that isn't really me, but I am a bit chuffed off.

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O/T If they object to you spending 40 minutes in one area of the store, they clearly don't know their market. They spend millions on advertising to attract you to their store, you do exactly that, go to the store and what do they do create a 'nightmare situation'.

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O/T If they object to you spending 40 minutes in one area of the store, they clearly don't know their market. They spend millions on advertising to attract you to their store, you do exactly that, go to the store and what do they do create a 'nightmare situation'.

 

Hahaha!

 

A very valid point. It's not as if I spent a couple of pound. I spent nearly £40. Seems pointless if I was allegedly stealing over £300 worth of make-up, especially as most of my purchases were make-up!

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